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LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – JUNE 24: Chris Paul #3 of the Phoenix Suns drives to the basket against Paul George #13 of the LA Clippers during the first half in game three of the Western Conference Finals at Staples Center on June 24, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo : Harry How/Getty Images)
The Los Angeles Clippers have the Phoenix Suns right where they want them. Down 0-2 for the third playoff series running, the Clippers to no one’s surprise claimed Game 3 again, winning 106-92 in their Western Conference Final clash with the Suns on Thursday. Paul George led the way for the Clippers who finally snapped the Suns’ nine-game winning streak in the postseason.
Playoff P takes charge in Game 3
After getting much of the blame in the Clippers’ heart-breaking loss in Game 2, George bounced back with a vengeance in Game 3, finishing with 27 points on 9 of 26 shooting from the field. He also dished out a team-high eight assists and grabbed 15 boards, just one rebound shy of the playoff career high he set last round against the Jazz.
For some reason in this postseason, the Clippers pick up their game when they are down in the series. With their 14-point win in Game 3, the Clippers have now recorded five double-digit victories in this postseason when trailing in the series, tying the record set by the Detroit Pistons back in the 2005 playoffs for most in NBA history.
What makes this playoff run by LA even more incredible is that they are doing without superstar Kawhi Leonard. The former Finals MVP missed his sixth consecutive game Thursday with a right knee sprain. Fortunately for the Clippers, George is playing some lights-out basketball at the moment.
He has now scored at least 25 points in each of their last eight playoff games, the longest single postseason streak in Clipper history. George stood tall when the Suns made a late run in the fourth quarter of Game 3 that sliced Los Angeles’ lead to six points, scoring or assisting on the next 10 Clipper points to seal the much-needed win.
George’s showing on Thursday adds to his stellar collection of Game 3 performances this postseason. He has scored an average of 29.0 points on 45.7 percent shooting from the floor in Game 3 wins over the Dallas Mavericks, Utah Jazz and now the Suns.
It wasn’t just George, though, who starred for the Clips in the Game 3 win. Also providing solid numbers were fellow starters Reggie Jackson and Ivica Zubac. Jackson scored 23 points for the Clippers while Zubac dominated inside the paint, recording 15 points and tying his playoff career high with 16 rebounds.
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Poor shooting dooms Suns
It was a disappointing loss for the Suns who got a major boost on Thursday with the return of Chris Paul to their starting lineup. The veteran guard missed the first two games of the series because of the NBA’s health and safety protocols after testing positive for COVID-19.
Paul recorded a double-double in his return with 15 points and 12 assists, but struggled with his shot, going just 5 of 19 from the field in Game 3. Booker also struggled on the offensive end for the Suns, finishing with just 15 points on 5 of 21 shooting. The Suns as a unit shot just 35 of 90 from the floor in Game 3.
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